agriculture

Iowa Department of Public Health

A new report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force has found Iowa has the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the country.

The report released yesterday puts the state in the red zone for both cases and test positivity, which is more than 10 percent. It says community transmission continues to be high across the entire state.

Governor Kim Reynolds

(For more information from state and local officials check out the images at the top of this post)

flysux.com

Air service from Sioux City to Denver will take flight again starting in October.

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon Mayor Bob Scott announced the addition of United Express flights operated by Skywest Airlines.  The first flight from the Sioux Gateway Airport is scheduled to take off on October 14th.  The daily flight will be onboard 50-passenger CRJ200 jet aircraft.

From Denver, United Airlines provides 460 daily flights to more than 170 destinations.

The last time Sioux City had a direct flight to Denver was in 2015 when Frontier exited the market.

City of Denver

Dakota County Health officials report one more death due to COVID-19 for a total of 39, plus 10 new cases for 1,819 in all.

There are 6 new cases in Woodbury County for a total of 3,346 and 44 deaths.

Governor Kim Reynolds released a video message urging Iowans to voluntarily wear a mask and practice social distancing and other health measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Iowa saw the biggest one-week increase in more than two months with 3,600 extra positive cases logged last week. 

One more person has died in the Sioux City metro area due to complications of COVID-19.  However, Dakota County Health Officials aren’t releasing any information about the person’s age or gender.

There have been a total of 69 deaths total in Dakota and Woodbury counties and almost 4,700 positive cases.  There were 10 new cases in Dakota and six in Woodbury reported on Thursday.   

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 10 more deaths due to COVID-19 and more than 330 new cases in a 24-hour period.  There have been 639 deaths and almost 22,900 positive cases.

gossandassociates.com

This week, a new monthly survey of business leaders suggested the economy is slowing down in a section of nine states in the Midwest and Plains, including all three Siouxland State.

The index slipped into negative territory for the first time in a few years.

Economist Ernie Goss from Creighton University oversees the survey that saw a November number of 48.6.  That’s down four points since October.  Any score below 50 shows decline. 

Goss talked to Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer about the survey and the impact of the trade war on agriculture in Siouxland.

Siouxland Public Media

A district court judge has rejected a request by former Gov. Terry Branstad’s lawyers to set aside a jury verdict that concluded Branstad discriminated against a former state official because he’s gay.

The ruling  rejects dozens of arguments, including challenges to legal rulings during trial and jury instructions.

Branstad’s attorneys asked the judge to set aside the July 15 jury verdict of $1.5 million awarded to former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey.

pxhere.com

A new report says farm bankruptcies have risen in Nebraska and Iowa.

The American Farm Bureau Federation shows Chapter 12 bankruptcies rose 24% nationwide over the previous year that ended on September 30th.

The report cited severe weather and trade disputes among the problems faced by farmers.

There were 37 farm bankruptcies in Nebraska and 24 in Iowa over those 12 months.

The highest number of farm bankruptcies was in Wisconsin, with 48. Nebraska tied for second with Georgia and Kansas.

101719 504

Minnesota and the Dakotas have seen snow and rain in recent weeks that have hampered an already difficult harvest. But much of the Corn Belt has somewhat recovered from heavy rains in the spring and summer, with experts predicting good yields from what did get planted.  

Steve Nicholson, a grains and oilseeds analyst with Rabobank in St. Louis, says that even though many farmers are still struggling, he believes the markets would be a lot more unsettled if a total disaster was looming.

A Siouxland native is helping pork producers go high-tech. Chris Bomgaars created an app called “EveryPig”.  “EveryPig” says it helps farmers manage their livestock and improves the health of hogs.

Woodbury County Jail

A man has been sentenced to five years in prison after admitting he fatally punched a Sioux City man and then fled to Mexico.   

25-year-old Ray Avila pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter and flight to avoid prosecution.

After being punched, 31-year-old Peter Johnson fractured his skull on a sidewalk and died later at a hospital.

Avila hit Johnson after a misunderstanding over what initially appeared to be a car break-in in July of 2018.

Siouxland Public Media

Democratic candidate for President and U.S. Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand made a campaign stop in Sioux City August 7, 2019.  

She’s spending five-days crossing the state in an RV and dropped by the Key Club to meet with supporters and those still undecided.

“Your caucus goers are really well informed and they turn up. Several people here I have met several times.  They are getting to know the candidates one by one. I think if I get a chance to meet all the caucus goers one-by-one I can break through and win.”

Library of Congress

In the Bible, when Job’s friends handed out their opinions of his suffering, they had his health in mind; but none of them, nor their arguments, could satisfy the emptiness in his soul. He'd lost his family, his land, his enterprise, even his health in a tsunami of bad times. Job likely numbered his days as "the worst hard times,"  the title of Timothy Egan's masterful portrayal of an American time and a place we've commonly become to describe as "the Dust Bowl."

United States Government

President Donald Trump plans to visit western this afternoon.  He starts his trip in Council Bluffs to tour and speak at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy.  The company produces and sells ethanol.  The president will attend a GOP dinner in Des Moines.

Meanwhile, Democrat Joe Biden is visiting the Hawkeye state today as well.  He will speak at events in Ottumwa, Mount Pleasant and Davenport.

On the weekend, more than a dozen of Biden's Democratic rivals were in Iowa for a party dinner.

Trisorn Triboon

Tariffs have been making it difficult for farmers to pay off loans. To learn more about how higher tariffs are affecting farms, we spoke with Allen Featherstone. 

Allen Featherstone is the head of Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. He says for over a year the farm economy has been struggling. Some of the struggles include increase in collateral, negative incomes, and the buildup of farm incomes over the years. 

Wikimedia Commons

  

Branstad and the Leopold Center  051617

It looks like The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture will survive, but without money from the state. Governor Terry Branstad used his veto authority Friday to save the agricultural research center, even though majority of state lawmakers voted to dismantle it.  The center's future remains uncertain.

The Exchange: Water

Mar 15, 2017

This week we will talk about all things water. Water quality, water management, and the apparently rising waters of the earth. First though, we talk with a man who is fighting an effort by the state legislature to do away with the Des Moines Water Works. Lawmakers have been debating a bill that would essentially dismantle the organization.  Bill Stowe is the CEO of the Des Moines Water Works.

Renewable Fuels Summit Features Cellulosic Ethanol

Jan 29, 2017

New corn fiber conversion technology could boost the number of gallons that Iowa ethanol plants can produce. That will be one of the topics at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit tomorrow.  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw says a traditional ethanol plant turns the starch of a corn kernel into ethanol, while the rest goes to make other products. 

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